Huge Turnout for Public Forum Regarding Future of I-81 Huge Turnout for Public Forum Regarding Future of I-81

The open house which started at 3 today began by giving the public the chance to talk to various state officials about various aspects of the project including traffic flow, real estate information, and construction. At 6 pm there will be a formal presentation from state officials.

This is the first meeting since the 15,000 page report was released calling the community grid the best option for the future of Interstate 81. The goal of the open house is to allow the community members to provide comments, ask questions and raise concerns. The I-81 project would remake major portions of Syracuse’s entire highway system. Some community members are concerned about the disruption of traffic.

“My concern is with traffic patterns.I live in the city and I use the highway. I use 81 for work, personal, so just what commute is going to be like.”

There are dozens of community members here when they opened the doors at 3 people poured in. Many of them saying this is a major change to the community and it’s important for them to have an input

Thanks Kendra. Was there any new information available today?

Kendra: yes several preliminary projects that have never been available to the public are on display. State officials even told me some of the new designs available today are because of suggestions by the community members which is why these forums are so important

How long until this project is finalized?

Right now we are still years away from anything final. There are still people continuing to fight against the grid and local officials continue to state they need more input.

By Kendra Sheehan Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) —  New York State Department of Transportation held an open house at the Oncenter to discuss the future of Interstate 81.  This marked the first meeting with the public since the 15,000-page report was released citing the community grid as the best option for Syracuse.

The I-81 project is a $2 billion proposed plan to reconstruct major parts of Syracuse’s highways. State officials hoped this public forum would be a chance for community members to discuss any concerns they have and offer new suggestions.

Community member Aleris Bizarro-Lopz had several concerns regarding additional commute times as well as the homeowners that could be displaced due to the reconstruction.

“I am wondering where they are going to place individuals living in the area by the pioneer homes that are going to be displaced,” said Bizarro-Lopz. “They talk about giving them temporary housing or vouchers but what is that actually going to look like. What is the real plan in place?”

I-81 project director Mark Frechette said this forum is crucial in engaging the public.

“I’ll be the first to say the Department of Transportation doesn’t have all the answers,” said Frechette. “This is a very complicated project and were hear to listen as well as provide new information to the public.”

Another open forum will be held on June 25 from 6-8 p.m. at Henninger High School off Robinson Street.



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